Scripture Reading:  Jeremiah 17:5- 8 

Today, the Holy Spirit examines three categories of people.  The first are those who are in the desert away from the source of living waters.  Secondly, those who are near to the great stream in the desert, and finally those who have been planted right alongside the river banks of this fountain of living water.  In John 4:14, the scripture says, “But whoever drinks of the water that I will give will never thirst.  Indeed the water that I will give him will be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”  Jesus Christ our Saviour is the giver of the water that generates peace, joy and comfort.  But there are many who are in the desert away from this divine source of life.  These are persons wandering in the desert; they are undergoing very severe discomforting  “heat”, and  do not trust in the ability of the Lord to save them.  Persons of this nature rely on their human 

powers, wealth, cultic foundations and perhaps recourse to fetish priests.  Behold, what the scripture says concerning persons like this:  “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm and whose heart departs from the Lord.  For he will be like a shrub in the desert and will not see when good things come.  But he will inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a land of salt without inhabitants.” (Jer. 17:5 —6)  Beloved, what a terrible consequence for those who deny the love of Christ and relay on themselves.  The scripture says, “Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding.” (Pro. 3:5)  Dear friend, it is dangerous not to trust the Lord and his ability to save you when you are in distress. People like this are ignorant of the scripture that says, “And call on me in the days of trouble, I will deliver you, and you will glorify me.” (Psa. 50:15) Man should not put his trust on himself or on connections, ancestors, nations, friends and resources.  This should not be.  Our confidence should only be on the Lord; for the Psalmist says, “I look to the mountains, where will my help come from?  My help will come from the Lord who made heaven and earth.” (Psa. 121:1).  Beloved, a man who does not trust the Lord is described by the scripture as one like a scorched dried out bush in the desert.  It means that he does not enjoy any comfort, to the extent that when something good comes he may not recognize it.  He is so traumatized by his situation that he becomes a ready and willing tool in the hands of Satan the devil.  So what is a man like this expected to do.  First, you must arouse your drooping spirit and earnestly start towards the living water —Jesus Christ.  You must know that trusting yourself is an error before your Creator, and then retrace your steps.  The good news is that no matter how far you have gone in disobedience, simply come back and the Lord will receive you with open hands. (Rev. 3:20)  To be concluded tomorrow!

1 Sam. 1: 24-28; 1 Sam. 2: 1. 4-5. 6-7. 8abcd (R. 1a); Lk 1: 46-56 ADVENT WEEKDAY ST. FRANCIS XAVIER
Prayer Points:

1. Take a worship song as you are led.

2. Are you experiencing dryness in your spirit? Then pray:

“Lord God of all consolation, I beseech You to look 

with pity upon me.  I am dry in the inside of me.  I feel empty and unprotected.  Please dear Saviour come to my aid.  I need You now.”

3. Take the prayer of  “Trust in the Divine Mercy” (Section A).

4. Pray for the success of the 21 days Fasting and Prayers starting Friday 6th January, 2017.
Exercise:  Give copies of Daily Strength Devotional to your friends and relations; invite them to be part of the 21 days fasting and Prayers programme.
Memory Verse:  Psa. 50:15